Tidying gardens in Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Knebworth & surrounding villages.
If you would like help in the garden, whether it's for a few hours a week, a month or more, then please get in touch.
Tel: 07963 291504

Fully booked for 2019

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Gardening Updates

This year has probably been one of the best years ever in the ol' garden.
Usually the heat of summer tires the garden quickly, everything gets that washed out look.
The vibrancy of spring long gone.

 But this year has been different.

Yes we've had a hot summer, thankfully not the intensity of heat like last year, but everything has remained intense, lush, healthy and alive.

Here we are now, fast approaching October and the garden is still going strong.

I'm sure we've had 3 flushes of delphiniums this year.

 I can't remember if I mentioned that I re-edged the flower beds this year, with grey bricks on a slant. Wish I'd done it this way years ago...it adds another area of interest.

Up the allotment the excitement continues.

We're now reaping the rewards of all our hard work.

This is what it's all about, raspberries, blackberries...

...tomatoes by the truckload. This has been the best year for many in the tomato department. Normally the tomatoes have been late to fruit and then just as they ripen blight strikes. 
But not this year...YAY!
Fruits all summer and no blight.

Growing your own is hugely satisfying. There are lots of fruits & veg I will grow again and a lot of new foods, that I've discovered lately, that I'll try next year...celeriac, butternut squash, etc...

This is me propping up an enormous sunflower that decided to take up residence on the plot.
Happy Autumn.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Summer Update

It's been a while since I last posted here on my blog so today I'm sharing what's been going on, both up the allotment and in the garden, over the past few months.
To start, a few updates from the allotment.


MAY 2019

MAY 2019

Back in May there was huge activity and excitment up the ol' lottie. One of the biggest thrills was finding a discarded, metal bed frame dumped by a bus stop, which I thought would make a great climbing frame for peas. The wildlife / wildflower bed started to emerge and the tadpoles, bought from the pond back home, had settled in.

 JUNE 2019

JUNE 2019

JUNE 2019

JUNE 2019

In June the excitement reached fever pitch. Harvesting what you've grown yourself is so satisfying and being able to fill your plate with homegrown deliciousness is an amazing feeling and makes all the hardwork and effort worth it. It's not all gone to plan...something went wrong with our spuds, with hardly any plant growth so we've only had a few potatoes to eat and I will leave Pak Choi until the cooler months from now on as it bolts very quickly when the temperature rises. 

JULY 2019

JULY 2019

JULY 2019

JULY 2019

Fast forward to July and the allotment is heaving.
We've had strawberries, lettuces, peas, french beans, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, spring onions....shall I go on?  😆😆😆 Rhubarb, gooseberries, beetroot, chard, kohlrabi and broad beans.

But it's not all been about feeding family and friends, it's about feeding the wildlife too, encouraging good critters to the plot and avoiding the use of chemicals.
You may recall my post about Grow Wild wildflower seeds and the beds that I created just for wildlife. Well those beds have been incredible and provided a huge range of beautiful flowers that the insects have loved and it's not over yet, there are plants for the whole year to keep insect bellies full.

Back home, the garden has been its best ever...only taken 20 years...lol.

At the moment the Zinnias are taking centre stage...

...and the passion flower, that I've been  growing up through the apple tree, has finally bloomed.

We also have a couple of new additions...a big, bright, orange planter by the pond to give a permanent pop of colour and an arch, up which I'm growing a heavily scented white jasmine.

Don't forget you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where I post more regular updates on the garden and allotment. 
Hope to see you there.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Fabulous Spring

Spring 2019, so far, has been glorious.
This is definitely my favourite time of year. Everything has a zing of freshness about it, everywhere you look there is new life...I love it!

Last autumn I planted a whole heap of inexpensive tulips from Wilko and The Range.

 I have been so impressed and will add more to the garden this year too, especially more of the frilly varieties.     

Of course, if you're a regular follower you'll know that it's now Auricula season, so brace yourself for the first batch of blooms from the Tidy Garden.

Meanwhile up the allotment, HUGE amounts of work have been going on.
On my patch, Plot 38a, a frenzy of planting and seed sowing has begun. 
In the pond, the tadpoles are enjoying their new home and the wildflower seeds that were cast in that bed have started to emerge. 

I've planted 5 dwarf fruit trees (from The Range)...2 plums, 2 apples and a cherry. I've got arches to grow blackeberries (from Lubera) up, as well as French Beans and Nasturtiums.

So far we've got broadbeans, parsnips, kalettes, sprouts, onions, early potatoes and a selection of salad bits n' bobs.

I also have a herb & cut flower bed, edged with lavenders and rosemary right next to our bench which hopefully will be really scented later in the year.

Over on 38b, my co-working plot, there's LOTS going on. More broadbeans, a raspberry bed next to the existing strawberry bed, purple sprouting broccoli, red onions, garlic, rhubarb (that was already there), cabbages, Pak Choi and more blackberries.

The newly created berry bed is starting to fill out (gooseberries, red / black currants and strawberries) and the second wildflower bed, right at the top, is also starting to grow.

Of course, with so much emerging, there's a LOT of watering to do, but at the end of the day it's so peaceful on the site and it feels so good.
Hopefully we'll be harvesting something soon.
You can also find me on Facebook & Instagram for daily updates and photos. 
Just type in Tidy Gardens by Jane.
See you there ☺

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Allotment Update & Growing Wildflowers

The excitment up the allotment is mounting.
The shed has a new roof and a veranda extension (dead posh). The compost bin is already about a 1/4 full with all the peelings, teabags and egg shells from home, plus grass clippings & weeds from around the plot.

The arrival of a huge mountain of bark chippings on the site means we now have beautiful pathways between the beds. It was the finishing touch. 

Crop wise, I've sown parnips, carrots, seed potatoes, radishes, broadbeans and onions in the soil. Back home in the greenhouse there are kalettes, cabbages, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, more broadbeans and brussels sprouts.

Yes...that my friend is a bucket of poo.
Gorgeous innit?

Earlier in the year I applied to Grow Wild UK to take part in their campaign to get more people growing wild flowers. 

My application was successful and I was sent a box of goodies which included stickers, planting guides, a poster, 2for1 vouchers for Kew Gardens and enough wildflower seeds to cover 40 square metres. I've shared these with others up the allotment.  

I've created another bed at the top of my co-working plot just for wildflowers and on my own plot I've dedicated a bed to wildflowers and wildlife. I've put in a pond using a large Smithy plant tub and bought some pond plants from home to put in it. We've also got LOTS of frogspawn back home so I'm going to bring down a blob or two to put in the pond. Apparently frogs return to where they were born so I'm hoping I'll have my own army of slug munchers in the future.

Around the pond I've scattered my wildflower seeds and put up an anti-cat fence. I've made nice pathways around the beds, carpeted them with soft bark chippings and what do the cats do? Stomp across my fluffy, manicured beds with their size 12 boots leaving large crater-sized footprints eveywhere 😂😂😂
Fingers crossed we'll have seedlings soon and a summer of wildflowers, welcome critters and wildlife.
Can't wait!

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